Sunday, 8 August 2010

Going where loads of men and a fair few girls have all gone before

When your err, "working" week is as stressful as mine, come Friday, a girl has to let her hair down. And what better way to do that than to team up with people who actually have jobs, and hit central London.

The Partner in Breakup and I were getting fed and watered in a Charlotte Street restaurant when we found out that our university friend The Banker was back from New York. I'd last seen him at an underground warehouse rave by the Brooklyn docks two weeks earlier; an event me and the Boyfriend had discovered, RSVP'd for the secret location, and dragged him and his friends along to. It was a strange, random, yet great night - and I was up for more of the same back on home turf.

We found him at a colleague's leaving do, located in one of those god-awful chain bars that litter London's most popular areas. After a few drinks, we were all itching to move on. The question was where. It was then I harked back to an earlier dinner conversation I'd had with PiB, and made a suggestion.

Seconds later, we were in a cab heading west. We eventually came to a stop outside our discreetly fronted venue of choice. That choice being, err, a fully nude strip club on the Grays Inn Road.

Now, I've never been to a strip club before, but truth be told, I've always been a little curious as to what goes on behind the dimly lit scenes. The PiB had been to a few, insisting that they made for a good night no matter your sex. And well, with the Banker regularly charged with entertaining clients, he was an authority on where to go. We were reliably informed that this place was a little more upmarket when it came to clientele, and, not wanting to mingle with a group of rowdy stags, we headed down the stairs and into the suitably plush interior of the club. Boothes scattered around the edge laid host to suited gents, most of whom were being writhed on by a selection of perfectly formed, naked bodies, while individual girls danced in rotation on the stage further back.

Extortionately priced glass of wine acquired, and with the Banker otherwise engaged with a scantily-clad blond haired beauty, the PiB and I settled on the swing-seats at the bar. To be honest, given the amount of vaginas on show, I was surprised to feel really rather comfortable in what is otherwise quite an odd environment; sexual supply and demand at it's most basic, legal, socially acceptable level. Importantly, it didn't feel seedy, and we said as much to an older man who had begun talking to us. Our words fell on the most attentive of ears. Ears belonging to none other than the owner of this particular club chain.

With our next drinks taken care of by the man himself, my Nth glass of wine seemed to make my decision for me.

"Let's get a lapdance" I whispered. "Get The Banker involved too. Will they do all three of us at once?"

The Banker readily agreed put up the money and we looked around, eventually deciding on an Eastern European girl with long brown hair, a stunning body and well, as it turned out, some pretty good banter. The three of us followed her to a booth and sat down. The show begun. The clothes came off and she started with the Banker, placing a cushion over his crotch before showcasing her impressive talents in fully nude-bendiness. I was aware of the club 'Madame' hovering in the background; an unattractive woman there to keep the girls in line. She sported a stern face that said 'Don't mess with me. Or her. Or her', and had previously insisted that we pay £20 each for the one dance. But in the end, we struck up a better deal with The Girl and a friendly concierge. It was clear that this particular stripper and club matriarch didn't get on. And it was clear that Madame wasn't about to let us off easily, either.

As The Girl migrated her body seamlessly from the PiB to myself, Madame stormed into view.

"They must be covered too" she snapped, baffling us all and placing a cushion over our fully clothed lady-bits. The moment (and any chance of us getting a hard-on, it would seem) unceremoniously broken, and the four of us descended into laughter while Madame retreated to her lair.

"She ees a fucking beetch" whispered The Girl, leaning her naked frame in close to my face and spreading her legs over my lap. "She takes a cut of every dance I do. I hate her."

After a few minutes, our time was up. We paid The Girl in money and compliments, and somewhere along the conversation, discovered that her body had borne a child a year earlier. "Well bloody hell, you look amazing" I said, impressed at the wash-board stomach bearing only the slightest hint of a baby-ripple. She kissed us both on the cheeks and we remained in the booth as the Banker sloped off home.

We finally stumbled out in the very early hours of Saturday morning, having had a fairly intimate insight into this female-run Man's World. The experience left me - well, pretty pissed, feeling neither sexy or seedy. If anything, the whole thing had a slightly conspiratorial feel. As girls, it felt like we were in on the joke. The joke being that men go to these places and pay at least £20 to be turned on for three minutes, by a girl they're ultimately not even allowed to touch. There was a slight irony in men getting a cushion over their laps and charmed out of their cash in a dimmed, velvet draped booth, while we could go to the toilets and see the same girl under the unforgiving glare of white lights, chatting as she pee'd with the door open.

Saying that, it's a joke that kept me entertained for the night and gave me free passes to return. And who knows? I won't be rushing, but as a one-off with a mixed group of friends every now and then, a strip club is really quite a funny place to be. 


roseski said...

Man, you crack me up!

Robbie said...

I'm not one for stripclubs...actually thats a slight lie, I used to hang out with a lot of lapdancers and would often meet them at work for drinks afterwards so I know what's going on in side. BUT. What I would like to know is, what are the employees of strip clubs in rundown/tacky places like Blackpool, Skegness or nearby Melton. Those have me thinking everytime I walk past one. What hides behind those doors?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Roseski - Glad to be of service, maam.

Robbie - Well, I have it on good authority that the strip clubs in Hull contain a lot of students on both sides of the curtain. Someone I know went to one while I was at uni, and found a girl from his course sliding up and down the pole. Eek. One way to pay off the student loan, I suppose. No idea about Skeggy etc, though I'm guessing the bar isn't set too high.

Robbie said...

Perhaps it's worth me popping in for a quick drink and dance next time I'm roaming around Blackpool.
For research purpose of course.

nuttycow said...

I think students paying off loans at strip clubs is the story countrywide. I wouldn't do it but I have no problem with anyone else doing it - hell, it's money, right?

Glad you had a good time. I've only ever been to a strip club a couple of times. Both times I was very drunk and in the company with lots of men. It made for very amusing viewing.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I've never liked strip clubs. I can never buy into the fantasy that the girls wanted me (as they pretend to). I always assume they're in the back laughing at us. Plus, it's a lot like dating in New York. Once your wallet is empty, you become invisible. But they DO have nice bodies.

London-Lass said...

Me and you could be lap dancing twins (honest, I am not a perv).

Only cos whilst out on our Chrimbo do (last Chrimbo) I decided it would be good fun to suggest to the bosses we finish off our night at a lap dancing place. And, curiously (from your description), it would appear me & thee ended might have ended up visiting the very same venue (albeit 8 months apart).

I spent most of the time jabbering away to our homosexualist office assistant and whilst me & him passed the time of day commenting on the various girlies around, my bosses went for their lap dances. Well I think this was how it went anyway - the visit had come after a long day of champagne & wine (and not enough food). I do also have a vague memory of a coupla lapdancers asking me if I was interested in a lap dance and calling me `Marlon' (I guess they must've misheard my first name and plumped for something that suited me better).

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Robbie - Of course. Purely research.

Nutty cow - That's just it. Was quite a funny night, especially as there were more girls in our party than boys.

Unbearable - That's partly it, I think. I find it hard to believe that someone would buy into it, but I guess some men are very simple creatures. Its the blokes there on their own I kind of felt sorry for.

Marlon - Oh, sorry, Lass - Yeah it could have been the same place. Swings by the bar? Lots of dimmed lighting and flashes of thigh? Going there with a boss would be verrrrry strange indeed. Ha!


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